Corporate Compliance

Tip: How compliance officers can help mend quality crises

Compliance Monitor, July 23, 2008

Compliance officers are more involved than ever in the quality-of-care crisis in America’s hospitals. Your job now is to identify and address risks facing your organization and to take care of your most important stakeholders—your patients—by insuring they receive the best possible care.
 
Although you don’t directly treat patients, you can do a lot to improve their care. Do the following to safeguard quality of care in your organization.
 
  • Ensure compliance with state law and The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) requirements for external reporting of adverse events
  • Capture allegations of falsified medical records related to patient care
  • Learn Joint Commission patient safety requirements, which are available at http://www.jointcommission.org/
  • Regularly obtain reports within your institution on specific patient safety projects
  • Make certain an internal reporting system exists for serious adverse events, their causes, and efforts to prevent recurrence and review these adverse events
  • Become familiar with system requirements to ensure patient safety, and raise the issue of patient safety implications of new technology
  • Ensure patient safety issues are regularly placed on the agendas of board and executive committees
  • Include physicians, nurses, and other professional personnel in safety and quality decisions
  • Capture patient and family concerns about safety and quality
  • Communicate your institution’s commitment to improving quality and avoiding errors as part of your compliance communications
 This tip was adapted from The Compliance Officer’s Handbook. For more information about the book or to order your copy, click here.

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